Welcome to this special edition of the Agiletoolkit Podcast hosted by Padmini Nidumolu. Padmini is one of the founders of Lean In Agile for Women here in the DC area and also hosts a meetup focused connecting women in the Agile community to share their stories. http://leaninagile.org/team.html https://www.meetup.com/NOVA-LeanInAgile/ In this podcast he speaks with several speakers from Lean+Agile DC. Enjoy her conversation with Jessica Hall, Lisa Mabli, Christina Garnett and Rachael Bradstock. Enjoy this podcast. - Bob Payne
I spoke with Lisa Smith at the Business Agility conference 2019. She and I chat about her use of Agile methods in Duke Energy. She is a former executive from Duke Energy who was leading business agility transformation in 2018. She’s left behind a true legacy of business agility within energy industrial operations. Here are some links to her 2018 talk at the Business Agility Conference. https://businessagility.institute/watch/business-agility-within-a-regulated-utility-by-lisa-smith/ Enjoy
I spoke with Pia-Maria Thorén (@piamia2) at the Business Agility 2019 conference. We talk about her work with Agile HR and people operations. She is the author of Agile People A Radical Approach for HR and Managers.
I switch seats and let Evan Leybourn interview Sanjiv Augustine and me about the Business Agility Sparks framework we have published from LitheSpeed We are excited to be promoting the cause of Business Agility with Evan and look forward to the Business Agility Conference in NYC. For more on the Business Agility Sparks and the Business Agility Conference Visit the following links. Business Agility Sparks Business Agility Conference - NYC Enjoy Bob Payne
Shane Hastie joins Bob to discuss his Agile2018 sessions: Being Agile in a Remote Team and The Foundations of Business Agility Shane is the Director of Agile Learning Programs at ICAgile, Chair of Agile Alliance New Zealand, Lead Editor for Culture & Methods & Podcast Host on http://InfoQ.com. Connect with Shane and Bob on Twitter.
Johanna Rothman joins the podcast at Agile2018 and discusses her sessions: You Have to Say More There: Effective Communication in a Distributed Agile Team and Agile and Lean Roadmapping: Incorporating Change at Every Level of Product Planning.
Scott Ambler joined Bob on the podcast at Agile2018. Hear about Scott's Agile2018 talks "Database DevOps: Strategies to Address DevOps' "Last Mile" and "Agile Architecture: Mindset, skills, and practices." Connect with Bob on Twitter and @LitheSpeed.
Where will Scrum@Scale take the Agile industry? Co-creator of Scrum Jeff Sutherland sits down with @AgileToolkit to explore Scrum@Scale at Agile2018. Connect with Jeff Sutherland on Twitter. Learn more about Scrum@Scale. @AgileToolkit is sponsored by LitheSpeed. Transcript: Bob Payne: The Agile Toolkit. [background music] Bob: I'm your host, Bob Payne. I'm here with Jeff Sutherland, one of the co‑creators of Scrum. Now you're working on Scrum at Scale. We're very excited about that at LitheSpeed. Just wanted to hear a little bit about Scrum at Scale and where you think that's going to take the industry. Jeff Sutherland: It actually starts a long time ago. I was pulled out of medical school in 1983. For 15 years I was a research scientist, working with tools for Bell Labs. Learned how to write software for super‑computing, modeling the human cell. Really, all the basics of Scrum were formulated in that environment. When I was pulled out of the medical school by a big banking company they said, "Over at the medical school you guys have all the knowledge, but at the bank we have all the money." [laughter] Bob: It's not an attractive feature of the banks. Jeff: They made me an offer that my wife couldn't refuse... [crosstalk] Jeff: ...the bank. [laughter] Bob: Why do you rob banks? Because that's where the money is. [laughs] Jeff: Of course, the first thing I realize I'm working on their new technologies such as the vice president for advanced technologies. I noticed their projects are all late. They have hundreds and hundreds of programmers and we're running 150 banks all over North America. Our customers are actually CIOs of banks. I walked into the CEO's office one day and I said, "Have you noticed that all your projects are late?" He said, "Yeah, the customers are calling me screaming every morning. Bob: The system's perfectly designed... [laughs] [crosstalk] Jeff: I said, "I'm just a medical school professor, a mathematician, a computer scientist, but I've looked at their Gantt charts on the wall. You have whole walls of Gantt charts and these tasks, names, and dates. I calculated the probability of being late using this Gantt chart and it's 0.9999999. You're virtually certain to be late on every project. It's a completely inappropriate method to manage projects with lots of change like software.. Bob: Or uncertainty. Jeff: He said, "Well, what should I do?" I said, "Well, you authorized me to keep this grant." When I came to medical school I had this grant from the Kellogg Foundation. A leadership grant where I had to with 50 national leaders travel around the world a third of my time for three years. To my surprise the CEO said he was going to support it. He said he thought he was going to get his money back, basically. I said, "You know, I've been running around the world and a subgroup of our leaders are actually business school professors. I've been talking to them about the bank, and they say we need to create a completely new operating model within the bank, a little company within a company, an entrepreneurial startup." I said, "That's what we ought to do." I said, "Here's the way these operate. I need everybody sales marketing, support, installation. I'm going to split them into small teams, four or five people. We're going to have product marketing come in on Monday morning and prioritize everything they're doing by value. Friday afternoon everything is going to be done and if it's software it's live. I need you to give me the whole operation. You and senior management can be my board of directors. I will report to you the financials once a month. The rest of the time you have to stay out of my company because I don't want you messing it up." He said, "We'll that's not going to be as much fun as looking at new technology." [laughter] Jeff: I said, "It needs to be fixed." He said, "OK, you've got it." You've got that headache. He gave me the worst business unit in the bank. We split them into small team. I said, "We're going to throw away the Gantt chart." I said, "We're going to train you how to land a project just like I train fighter pilots to land an aircraft. I'm going to give you a burn down chart instead of the Gantt chart. This is back in 1983. All of this was the first prototype. It wasn't a prototype of Scrum. It was a prototype of Scrum at Scale. That's were it began. How do you run a whole organization with Scrum? How do you create an agile environment that is actually protected? I was protecting the environment from the Waterfall company. How do you prioritize everything for the organization and then execute those priorities as small as sprints? The teams, how are they responsible for actually delivering at the end of every sprint, which is one of the fundamentals of Scrum. I experimented with that through several companies until I finally got to Easel Corporation in 1993 where we gave it the name Scrum from... Bob: From the paper. Jeff: That was the first team that was called a Scrum team. Then in 1995 I pulled Ken Schwaber in. Ken Schwaber was leading a CEO of a project management software company selling waterfall methodologies. [laughs] I said, "Ken, come on in and look at Scrum. It actually works. That stuff you're selling doesn't work." He came in. He spent two weeks with the Scrum team and at the end of it he says, "You're really right. This is really more or less the way I run my company." He said, "If I used the Waterfall methodology to run my company I'd be bankrupt." [crosstalk] Bob: ...respond to the marketplace. Jeff: I said, "Well, why don't you sell Scrum instead of selling all this Waterfall stuff?" He thought about it and he said, "Yeah, why don't we do that." Then we decided, OK, I want to make opensource so that it can be widely deployed. We need to write the first paper on what it is. Formalize it, which we presented at OOPSLA'95. Then Ken started selling Scrum out into the market. I was head of engineering inside companies implementing this. One of the very first companies we go together into was a company called Individual, an Internet startup that had just gone public. We had 60 million dollars to spend. We were hiring people like crazy. We had multiple Scrum teams. What do we do? We implement Scrum at Scale. Bob: Scrum at Scale. [laughter] Jeff: These guys went from they were delivering every six months, the first quarter we implemented what we call today Scrum at Scale, they were doing multiple releases of their flagship product and delivered two new products in three months. Bob: That's great. Jeff: Scrum at Scale is designed to incrementally deliver quickly with a whole organization involved in making that happen. That's the challenge of Scrum at Scale. Bob: One of the largest early project that Sanjiv Augustine and I did we brought in for stabilization recovery from a classic Waterfall fiasco. [laughter] At the time we were using XP or Extreme Programming, but interactive and incremental. We'd executed it on a small team. We were like, "There's no reason these ideas shouldn't be simply scalable up to a larger team." We had about 300 people on that program and we just said, "Look, we're going to integrate and demo the system," which took them two months to build before their first testing phase, "every two weeks." Of course, they didn't do it for the first four iterations, but after that every two weeks we got a demoable system up, we had some cross‑organizational planning, and a daily stand up that then the team member would step out, and we had it in a big long hallway. We would do the Scrum and then the Scrum of Scrums on a daily basis because things were changing so fast. Jeff: Absolutely, yeah. The other interesting thing in those first two prototypes with Scrum at Scale is that today DevOps is a big buzz word, but that was fully implemented in both of those prototypes. In fact, in the Internet company they were having trouble with deployment. I said, "I want the deployment server and the developers cube and you guys will deploy multiple times a week. That's the way it's going to be. There isn't going to be operations blocking deployment." It was funny because the operations team, of course, screamed, but I was the head of engineering. I said, "You guys are too slow. We're not using you anymore." A week or two later they came back by and they said, "We've implemented Scrum in operations and we want to become part of your Scrum at Scale. We'll meet in your Scrum of Scrums daily meeting. [laughter] Jeff: Can we have out server back if we do that?" [laughter] Bob: You said, "Maybe. We'll see." Jeff: "Only if the developers can deploy multiple times a week with the server in your server farm, if not we're taking the server back to the development area." Bob: Multiple times a day, yeah. [laughter] Bob: That's funny. Other than the deployment what sort of engineering practiced were you guys using for test automation and that sort of thing in those early days. Jeff: Actually in the first Scrum a team testing product was part of the Scrum because it was a small token environment so we had a fully integrated piece of code running all the time. From the very first sprint we deployed internally. The tooling was such that our consultants could actually use it in the field to get feedback. Jeff McKenna was working with us today as one of the Scrum trainers, wanted to start a testing company. We were particularly interested in component architectures. Move way beyond the unit testing levels. How do you test for a component? Which, today has turned into micro‑services, right? [laughs] . How do you set up a test environment that tests the micro‑services and then make sure it's ready for deploy? All of this stuff has been around for a long time. Bob: It has. The pattern have been there for a while. Now you've pulled it together. You're doing trainings and certification around that. Jeff: In recent years we've been pulled in Toyota, GE, Maersk, the world's biggest shipping company, 3M we're the global trainers for 3M. We've been pulled into these big companies. I've had to coach the coaches that have gone in there. We need to formalize the method of scaling that works in really large. We work with SAP who's implementing this. It has 2,000 Scrum teams. These people with really large implementations have told us what we need to do to make it work, not only for one or two teams but for thousands. That's the beauty of Scrum at Scale. It will work really well for one or two teams because it has no extra overhead. It's the minimal viable bureaucracy. Bob: The Scrum framework... [crosstalk] Jeff: It scales up to thousands of teams. It works just as well as for thousands with a minimal addition of any bureaucratic overhead. High performance for an organization. 3M had the biggest stock price jump in history last November. If you read "The Wall Street Journal" it's because of several technology divisions, some of which we'd implement Scrum at Scale, because it is an organizational implementation to increase the value of the organization, not just make a project better. [laughs] Bob: There was a heated article to really springboard off of. Jeff: About a year and a half ago the Scrum Alliance came to us and said, "We are interested in participating in a scaling framework where we have ownership and our trainers and our membership within the Scrum Alliance can actually participate in the evolution of that framework. We can't do that with the other frameworks. Can we do it with you?" It took about a year of negotiation to decide how we're going to set this up. We have a joint venture now called Scrum at Scale LLC. It's half owned by the Scrum Alliance. It's half owned by Scrum Inc., my company. Its goal is to train the trainers and do the whole certification process for Scrum at Scale. Within the first few months, we have 42 trainers. They're training all over the world. We're off and running. Bob: We're excited to be on that ride with you. [laughter] Bob: Louise, Q. Is it in the class? The joke was that he was your bodyguard or something because he was very pumped up. [laughter] Jeff: Yes. It was some guys from South America or something that said "Oh, Q, he must be his bodyguard," or something. [laughter] Jeff: Q looks like... Bob: He works out a lot. Jeff: He wears sunglasses all the time, dark glasses. He looks like a martial artist. [laughter] Bob: He's like Bono meets Steven Seagal. [laughter] Jeff: That's pretty funny. Bob: That's very exciting. How do you see the growth rate? You said 42 trainers in the first few months. Jeff: We just did two train‑the‑trainer sessions last month, one in Denver and one in Boston. We'll be doing one in October in London, probably another one in January in London. We're going to be doing them in Europe. We'll be doing another one in Boston. Walking up here, there's a guy from Austin really twisting my arm trying to get us to come down to Austin and do it. Bob: From the Scrum gathering or near the Scrum gathering in Austin? Jeff: Yes. There's a lot of pent‑up demand for a better alternative for a scaling framework. It's growing really fast and I think it will continue to grow. Our challenge, mainly, is to... we'll have plenty of trainers, how do we help them fill their courses all over the world? That's a major objective to Scrum at Scale. To really get those trainers successful wherever they are. Bob: What's been interesting in your trip to San Diego? Anything on the personal front or just business? Jeff: I have the opportunity where we're doing some training up in Sunnyvale. My wife was with me. I said, "Why don't we just come down the West coast? We'll do a little road trip, rent a sports car. Stop at all the nice locations. [laughs] [crosstalk] Jeff: That's what we did coming down here to San Diego. We're about to do that to go back up again. I have a Scrum at Scale training in Sunnyvale on Monday, Tuesday. That's been fun. Bob: It's humid here which is an odd experience in San Diego. Jeff: Yes. [laughs] Bob: Thank you very much, Jeff. I really appreciate the time. I look forward to doing the train‑the‑trainer course with you coming up. Jeff: Thank you very much for inviting me. Bob: Thank you. The Agile Toolkit Podcast is brought to you by LitheSpeed. Thanks for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed today's show. If you'd like to give feedback or be on the show, you can ping me on Twitter. I am @agiletoolkit. You can also reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more free resources, transcripts of the show and information about our services, head over to lithespeed.com. Thanks for listening. [music]
CIO for Enterprise Applications at Nationwide Insurance Michael Carrel covers rolling out agile enterprise-wide at scale, becoming comfortable with failure, and the ins and outs of building a culture of visual management, accountability, and innovation at this financial services giant.
Agile at scale can get you to code very quickly, but then sometimes everything comes to a screeching halt. The biggest bottlenecks are often found after teams are done with the code. Dan James of Icon Agility Services joined Bob Payne on the Agile Toolkit Podcast to discuss Dan’s session at Lean+Agile DC 2018: Building a Lean Enterprise with DevOps. Dan and Bob explore “shifting left,” creating a pipeline of smooth handoffs, and decoupling release from deployment.
After coding live at Lean+Agile DC 2018, Ben Scott of Ippon Technologies joins Bob Payne to talk code craftsmanship and getting proper feedback from the business side. Ben explains a way to quickly build a quality demo from scratch – creating the first demonstrable piece of value. Bob and Scott walk through their opinions on (shudder) best practices, living in ambiguity in agile methods, and bridging the gap between IT and business.
Carlos Rojas, Director of Technology and Operations at Fannie Mae, sat down with Bob Payne at Lean+Agile DC 2018 to discuss Business-Driven Agile Engineering. Carlos shares thoughts on Fannie Mae’s trailblazing Agile transformation – from prioritizing agility-supporting corporate shared services – recruiting, contracts & procurement, and facilities, to machine learning and a mantra of “Automate Everything.”
Modern Agile stickers everywhere are helping Modern Agile stick. Dean Chanter of Capital One recalls his Accidental Experiment with Modern Agile (cake for every release!). Bob and Dean talk through the power of the laptop sticker, evolving and “upskilling” ScrumMasters, and Lean roots.
Agile didn’t work as your silver bullet? Not a surprise, according to Very’s Dan Fish, Product Manager & Agile Coach, and Gabe Weaver, Chief Product Officer. Dan and Gabe joined Bob Payne at Lean+Agile DC 2018 to talk Agile methods, holacracy, and the hard work required to solve organizational impediments after adopting Agile. TRANSCRIPT: Bob Payne: [00:00:01] Hi I'm your host Bob Payne, i'm here at Lean+Agile DC. Why don't you guys introduce yourself since. Dan Fish: [00:00:08] Sure. I'm Dan fish I'm a product manager and agile coach at Very. Gabe Weaver: [00:00:14] And I'm Gabe Weaver I'm the chief product officer at Very Bob Payne: [00:00:17] Excellent. So you guys are here talking about why agile might not be the silver bullet everybody everybody's been making it out to be. And you also do Holacracy at Very so I'm excited about both of those things. I like to blow stuff up and I love you know experimenting with self managing teams and strategies. So those are a couple of things I'd like to talk about. So what sucks about agile? Gabe Weaver: [00:00:51] I don't think it's necessarily that it sucks. I think companies suck. Dan Fish: [00:00:58] Honestly it's very subtle , Gabe. Gabe Weaver: [00:01:00] Yeah. No but but really if you look at some of the some of the data that's coming out stated the agile from today's seventeen's survey is a 4 percent in the company's report that it's not actually enabling them to have more market agility to respond to changing market conditions adapt and really move more quickly in business. So if you start to like peel back the young into why that is it goes pretty deep but I think a lot of it goes back to the construct of how we structure organizations Dan Fish: [00:01:31] Yeah. And I'd say it's sometimes too much of a silver bullet or a you know it's like a salve you can sprinkle and everything will kind of go away. And the work really comes in after you've put some of these processes or or roles in place you know where do you go from there and how do you solve the organizational impediments that are there. That's the hard work and that's the real I think substance behind this sort of movement of responding to change and empowerment and bottom up stuff. How do you how do you actually make that happen particularly at large organizations that are used to top down management or centralized decision making and yearly budgets. Those are the hard problems to solve. Bob Payne: [00:02:10] Yeah. Dan Fish: [00:02:11] Rather than just you know what's you know a sort of a small scope problems that are just affecting one team. I think we've kind of seen them seeing that and solve that in a lot of ways that they are not. Not completely but it's you know how do you change the organization. How do you change the mindset and the culture and culture gets undervalued a lot Bob Payne: [00:02:29] Yeah. So culture gets undervalued. A lot of talk a lot of talk about culture but not a lot of work and culture is fundamentally hard work. You know the old adage that culture eats strategy for lunch so you know if you want to create an agile environment that the current culture in the organization is going to resist resist those changes even if there are changes for the good. So I think the culture gets absolutely undervalued and the agile practices get overvalued. I Bob Payne: [00:03:12] Absolutely. Bob Payne: [00:03:14] I mean I get a rash when people .. I get a lot of rashes. Dan Fish: [00:03:20] Sounds like a personal problem. Bob Payne: [00:03:20] It really is. I should care less. That would be easier. But you know I see people talking about you know the scrum rituals and like these are their meetings they're not rituals there's nothing. Bob Payne: [00:03:34] You know if if if Taiichi Ohno came back to life and saw that Toyota was using the same processes that they that he and Demming came up with. You know 75 years ago he would freak.. He would freak out, he's like you you do not understand what we were going for there because the practices and processes are subordinate you know to getting stuff done creating value for our customers following work flowing value through the system. I mean the practices are just- they need to change and evolve then people were they put agile in here. They codify it make it a little precious little thing and then they don't change the intake to the three year strategic plan. One year funding competitors come out with new stuff. Well we're on the strategic plan will react to that in three years. Gabe Weaver: [00:04:33] Yeah I don't even ant to get started on scrum and my disdain for it. But I think what's really interesting is that most companies treat is a way to gain efficiency. So but really what it is in the heart of it of where the Agile Manifesto came from was enabling people to work better with people in a more efficient and sane way. Bob Payne: [00:04:56] Right. Gabe Weaver: [00:04:57] That's more stable basically but the opposite is happening whereas companies are valuing processes over people and it's not sustainable and it's not working. Bob Payne: [00:05:09] Yeah. So I won't lay it all out. So I live in that tent so I'm on the inside peeing out rather than the outside peeing in... So I do a lot of scrum training but I always start it with. Here's lean. Gabe Weaver: [00:05:25] Yes. Bob Payne: [00:05:26] Here's- it is OK to start with scrum scrum is not the goal. I really put in some slides recently with Bruce Lee. But. So. So it's discipline. It is continuous improvement in playing the long game. You can start there. But once you get disciplines then you can start to improvise in the system and then at some point when you get really good the systems fall away right. And ultimately you should be tying back to lean and lean eats itself. Yeah it never does it never sleeps it it's the whole goal is to change yeah. Dan Fish: [00:06:11] One thing I like asking Scrum teams that have been doing it for a little while is how a scrum become an impediment. How does how does the framework of scrum and the rigid roles of scrum become an organizational impediment for you. I've seen some really strong mature teams move beyond scrum you know and get into continuous flow and it's so a beautiful thing because they've kind of taken the best elements of it the mindsets and the cultures and and the and less about the rigid rigid ceremonies or you know sort of straight lines of separation Bob Payne: [00:06:43] Even the roles of product owner and development team in the scrum masters the you know the arbiter between those two opposing powers. Well what if they're not opposing and they're both working for the same thing you know like Motley Fool you have these little micro feature teams and there's a few engineers and business folks and they're just building value right there. The distinction is getting a go. Dan Fish: [00:07:16] Yeah the guys at Gilt have a nice way of saying it which is this was in response to the Spotify movement from to you know 10 years ago or so. Bob Payne: [00:07:21] Right. Dan Fish:[00:07:22] You know tribes and guilds just great stuff. Gilt had a nice paper saying we we think that stuff is cool but you know some of it's an antique pattern you know in particular separating prioritizing of work and doing the work right. Right. How do you separate those two things. Fundamentally it's you know that they really didn't believe in that I think. I think there's there's truth in that. I also think though there is you know a personality there is a you know a right of someone to say yeah I care about the business and where it's going. Up to a point and I just want to focus on doing a great job and I think I think I think there's a balance there. Bob Payne: [00:07:55] Well everybody has you know their particular proclivities are specializations and that's OK. This idea that we should somehow be you know there should be a level of homogeneity is .. i don't think Generalizing specialist means that, right? And I don't know that that's something that it's not some pure beautiful thing you know some people are going to have a deep interest in the the customer in the business somebody is going to have a deep interest in breaking shit and they're going to be really testers and some people are going to be really interested in building stuff but when they Windu people can have a rich dialogue and make better products make better decisions make faster decisions. I think that's the goal. Scrum can be an enabler. Josh Kerievsky calls it sort of the training wheels foragile in you know you can't always ride with the wheels on forever right. Gabe Weaver: [00:09:00] Yeah. My observation I've noticed is in our projects even trying to get our clients to participate in their own product development. They hire us to build that is how often do business owners or are onsite customers or whoever the sponsors actually participate in regular weekly meetings with the team provide ongoing regular feedback and unlike a predictable cadence and more often than not it doesn't happen they don't they don't see the value of it and it's hard to shift that mindset and think beyond anything else. That's part of the primary reason why scrum why XP why anything will fail and does fails because there isn't that healthy participation from the business with the actual team building the product. Sure that was such a good game because it reminds you of a George Carlin joke about voting where it's like you know you don't get to complain about who's elected. If you don't vote right. Right. And George Carlin's like oh I sat home on Election Day. You know I don't want any part of this. I'd say one of the things I've seen over time consistently is that separation between the sponsor and the team doing the work. I know whether you know I did product development for years at Very, we're consulting for for for companies. But the problem is when you have a sort of proxy product owner right or something better than the team who doesn't have budget authority doesn't have sort of that that level and they're the ones though privatizing the backlog. Also for our ally that separation can be a real a real killer. Dan Fish: [00:10:35] And then you lose empathy right because then the person who has the budgetary responsibility doesn't have the empathy of how hard it is to build software or other organizational challenges and impediments. Bob Payne: [00:10:44] Yeah but also if they if they're making decisions without the information they're flying blind you know as well I mean it just is. You know it always surprises me when they don't care how hard it is to Bill will you'll care when it's late or we've gone over budget Dan Fish: [00:11:02] Or their expectations are wildly off because they haven't engaged right. And that's where they get to sort of sit back and you know kind of sit in judgment of it without actually participating. I think that's frustrating. Gabe Weaver: [00:11:12] Yeah that's one of the interesting things is another survey by Gardner. Basically 51 percent of organizations have no plans to establish refactoring as a core principle and how they build products and software. And they're not. They're not investing in the long term and stability and they want to go faster quicker. And I think that's where even a lot of business owners they don't want to hear that it's going to go slower or they don't care. They want to get to market quickly but they don't realize that by doing that they're actually short circuiting the speed later on and rendering more or less useless. Right. Oh by the way we're running a free platform the whole thing and you can't have new features for eight months. I think the only opposing force there is you know is there some over optimization there. Right. Dan Fish: [00:12:00] Is is is creating in a really sophisticated tooling and some of the you know test driven development stuff you know doing that too early before you know your product market fit. I could see that being an opposing force. But I think once you've gone to market right once you have customers once you know you're going to be around for a while right. You want to be sure that all of the stuff you put in place before you know is at a certain level of maturity. Gabe Weaver: [00:12:25] We disagree a little bit. Bob Payne: [00:12:27] So for the folks that came up test infected the TDD is not only free it go you go faster because it's not a testing it's not a testing activity. It's a thinking activity. But Dan Fish: [00:12:47] Sure I got a different way which is you don't actually need bulletproof Hice high scalable high you know responsive software when you have no customers. Bob Payne: [00:12:54] Right. Dan Fish: [00:12:55] Right now that's all trying to say there. Bob Payne: [00:12:56] There are people that absolutely agree with you and there they are well respected. So Dave Thomas a pragmatic programmer Dave says you know I don't write many tests anymore. I don't know that he does a ton of production code anymore either but Gabe Weaver: [00:13:15] He's also like elevated past level mastery and some some other force of nature that is amazing. Bob Payne: [00:13:22] Me i'm just trying to ..i'm doing the best I can. I need a crutch right. I'm not a free climber. I need to attach my ropes as I get up the walk on the one I'm talking about. But I only see the tests there to help the cycle ocracy. Dan Fish: [00:13:45] That's a good one. Bob Payne: [00:13:46] Yeah. So how's that working for you? Dan Fish: [00:13:50] Peaches and cream Bob Payne: [00:13:50] And you know some people say What if I don't like peaches and cream when the holaocracy revolution comes, You will like peaches and cream. Gabe Weaver: [00:14:03] I will say it's not perfect but it's better than what alternatives there are. They are well documented and easy to adopt an organization. Yeah it's certainly a little bit heavy handed and it feels that way. But once you do it for a while you realize the intent behind the heavy handedness is to protect everyone from waste and it's almost like a kind thing where you have efficient meetings instead of it being nice human you have very human interactions. But when you go to like a tactical meeting which is basically a stand up is very quick fire very rigid about the process because you don't want to have 20 people cross talking in a room Bob Payne: [00:14:41] And when you just starting out like scrum you need rules. Yep yeah I mean I see that those sorts of structures as supportive of instantiating the first first steps. Gabe Weaver: [00:14:55] I think the most important thing about it is there's no rule in the Constitution which is kind of what we adopted. You can't change the constitution. Right. So. So the board of our company ratified the Constitution and basically ceded their authority to governing the organization according to the rules. Right. But it can be updated and changed and evolved over time. And I think that's the whole intent behind it just like it's continuous improvement in software. You apply the same principle as the organization and you can change it to how you need needed change but we're trying not to do that until everybody understands the responsibility of self-management. Bob Payne: [00:15:33] Yeah until you can do it well until you can demonstrate that you can execute it's what qualifies as an I'm not pointing at you guys... You can take a you know what qualifies you to say this way who would be better until you've least tasted what you know the ability you can't deliver. You can't improve your delivery. Right. So but I don't think you need to go too far down the line. You know you don't have to be the perfect scrum team before you start making minor macro level changes to the process that takes you off scrum so be it or it takes you out of the official official ocracy. You know you've got to make contextually appropriate choices and and it's your your team your company. This period of time this competitive landscape and assume that it will evolve in the same way that Toyota evolved and maybe they're at some plateau. But I suspect they'll have disruptive change that they'll want to adopt. I will say it was not perfect. Gabe Weaver: [00:16:44] We had our our company wide meet up a couple of weeks ago and I reiterated the fact that everybody in the company is considered a partner. Yep and everybody's empowered to make changes and improvements. And it's actually the responsibility of every partner within the organization to do that and that's the evil that is. Bob Payne: [00:17:03] And That's the thing that's sometimes difficult for folks they don't want the responsibility of changing the system. Gabe Weaver: [00:17:09] But we've been pretty good about hiring to let people know what they're coming into. And the interesting thing is we haven't had any voluntary turnover in three years. Gabe Weaver: [00:17:18] And it's not just because of velocity but I think it's more because of the shift in how we're approaching people and putting people first and organization like we made it clear we're happy to ditch it if it doesn't work but only do it if there's something better to go to that keeps the same spirit of putting people first in empowering people and allowing people to become their ideal selves. Dan Fish: [00:17:40] Yeah and I see some of the things that have really resonated with me and with hypocrisy is transparency. Yeah you know that's one of those things put people put on a white board or a slide. It's hard to actually do right. How do you give transparency to organizational strategy and performance and things like that Bob Payne: [00:17:56] And gain alignment in a non-centralized system. Dan Fish: [00:17:58] Absolutely. Particularly if things aren't quite maybe baked right that idea that there's a kernel of an idea that needs to be developed a little bit more and that's when you know if there's too much sort of transparency to it it can die or die quickly before it's ripe and so getting that right balance you know that's not easy either. That's not some idyllic paradise that we're swimming in every day. Right. So that's something we we've been spending a lot of time in the last six months to really figure out OK how do we get enough transparency to things that are happening on decisions in progress or big strategic shifts. And I think that's really important when you want an engaged team and you treat your people as good or better as your customers. I think that's that's an important piece. Bob Payne: [00:18:34] Great. Well I am excited to see companies going down this path we're.. at LitheSpeed we're kind of you know thumpin away and taking maybe more experimental using some techniques from some from Buurtzog and some from Morningstar. But yeah congratulations and it's going to be fun. Gabe Weaver: [00:19:00] I appreciate that Bob Payne: [00:19:01] Will not be peaches and cream. May you live in interesting times. Gabe Weaver: [00:19:04] Maybe some vanilla ice cream on the side. Bob Payne: [00:19:06] Yeah. Excellent. Thank thank you very much for coming in. Thank you VERY much. Gabe Weaver: [00:19:13] I see what you did there. Dan Fish: [00:19:13] Yeah.Thank you. It's a pleasure.
BUSINESS AGILITY: Evan Leybourn, founder of the Business Agility Institute and Conference, has been screaming into the void about Business Agility, and the void is finally screaming back. Evan is building a strong community around business agility across diverse industries, and plans to reclaim business agility from the consultants and marketing folks that keep using the buzzword.
Evan sat down with Bob Payne of the Agile Toolkit podcast to discuss.
The Agile Toolkit Podcast I always say that DevOps in one sense is really an extension of agile principles out to everybody on the ship. -Jeffery Payne Bob Payne chats with Jeffery Payne, Founder of Coveros, at Lean+Agile DC 2018. The Payne Cousins (not really) chat DevOps and tips for pairing developers and testers. The discussion covers moving toward a generalized specialist model, testers showing up like a demolition crew, and the true meaning of pairing. [caption id="attachment_7988" align="alignnone" width="2024"] Jeffery Payne sits down with Bob Payne (not cousins..)[/caption] TRANSCRIPT Bob Payne: [00:00:02] Hi I'm your host and technical idiot, Bob Payne. Just struggling with the equipment there for a little bit, making making the the the big newbie mistake of hitting play instead of record. So I'm here at Lean + Agile DC 2018 and I'm here with Jeff Payne of Coveros. Jeffery Payne: [00:00:25] Your cousin right. Bob Payne: [00:00:26] Yeah. Cousin Jeffery Payne: [00:00:27] Yeah. Bob Payne: [00:00:27] Yep. So Jeff what what are you talking about here today since I am out here in the hall and not not in the talks. Jeffery Payne: [00:00:38] Yes I'm talking about dev test pairing. Okay so trying to get developers and testers to work together better. We find that that's one of the biggest issues we see on teams when it comes from engineering perspective. Bob Payne: [00:00:52] Yeah I mean I think the early agilists were a lot of XP teams that sort of did away with testers because everybody was considered to be a tester. I think it was also sort of a chemistry of the particular group of folks that were on that first team. And you had folks like Elizabeth Hendrickson, Lisa Crispin. A lot of folks sort of brought testing back into the Agil fold. Yeah what do you think the biggest problems you see with testing and agile teams or trying to get testers and coders to pair? Jeffery Payne: [00:01:31] Yeah I think obviously one of the biggest problems is that they historically haven't worked well together. They're kind of on different sides of the fence as a check and a balance in some organizations right. Jeffery Payne: [00:01:42] And and a lot of organizations even they prefer that their testers not even talk to their developers they want them to be independent speak because they think it's kind of like an editor if if you haven't seen it and then you review it another set of eyes you're not you know you're not influenced by the development. The other sort of clean room actually that's the traditional approach. Of course it's always been very late lifecycle and very manual right. None of those things work well on edge. All right. Bob Payne: [00:02:11] Well none of those things actually work well in life. It's not just an agile thing. Jeffery Payne: [00:02:16] So you know how do we change that? Bob Payne: [00:02:17] Shoot, it's not secure and doesn't scale. I'm glad we have 12 hours to fix this before production. Jeffery Payne: [00:02:22] Yeah, Exactly. Here you go have it done by tonight. So yeah. And so what we try to help teams fix that. Bob Payne: [00:02:30] Yeah. Jeffery Payne: [00:02:30] Address those issues. Bob Payne: [00:02:33] What are you what do you think has been most beneficial recently for helping you in that in that quest of getting folks to pair together. Jeffery Payne: [00:02:42] Well we have some techniques and approaches that we like to use to try to get them to work together and also learn from each other because you know if you're moving toward a generalized specialist model on your teams we like that model. Yup and you want collective code ownership and you want a whole team quality all these you know motherhood and apple pie concepts that we espouse too. You've got to get everybody productive during the entire Sprint or whatever you're doing story development or whatever. And the only way you can do that is that people start learning from each other and cross fertilize. Historically you know I was a developer developers aren't great testers for a number of reasons. Jeffery Payne: [00:03:20] Just you know out of the gate they're not very good testers and testers oftentimes particularly if they are manual testers they don't have a very strong technical background they don't know code they can't write automation right. Those two things together don't work very well. So we've found that by pairing Dev and test they can help learn from each other and become stronger teammates and collectively on the code better. Bob Payne: [00:03:43] Now do you find that tools like cucumber or other. I don't know if you're running into teams using fitness but are early on fitness is one of those tools cucumber most recently specked flow help bridge that gap so that testers can blow out those scenarios a little more directly after the fixtures are done or even before the fixtures are done. Jeffery Payne: [00:04:09] Definitely. Yeah I mean the the BDD oriented. Bob Payne: [00:04:12] Yeah Jeffery Payne: [00:04:12] Cucumber with Gherkin, kind of natural language approach is a great way to start moving particularly manual testers toward understanding how to automate without having to dive right in and start like you know trying to write good maintainable selenium scripts for instance or whatever. I mean it's hard to write maintainable any kind of scripts. Bob Payne: [00:04:33] Write would be better then record -those are a nightmare to maintain Jeffery Payne: [00:04:39] No doubt, or record any test is a bad idea because that's how they're sold often so. Bob Payne: [00:04:44] Right. Jeffery Payne: [00:04:45] That's how you know people think you're supposed to use those tools. We definitely like those kinds of tools that we think they help move a a tester toward being more capable of providing automation support. Bob Payne: [00:04:57] What sort of behavioral, I mean, You mentioned the word pairing. What does that mean when you say that because I see a lot of I see a lot of misuse of the word. I'm assuming you're not but the mis use of the word pairing Jeffery Payne: [00:05:09] I Might be, who knows. Maybe you'll tell me i'm wrong, Bob. Bob Payne: [00:05:11] And TDD, I see a lot of people misusing or not really understanding TDD. That's most common but Jeffery Payne: [00:05:17] Yes. Yeah. So I mean to me I'm basing it off of the definition of pair programming. Go you know getting two people together to work together collectively on some task. When you talk in dev test you're really either talking about those two people working together on code almost pair programming and one of our techniques is to use a dev test to pair program yet which is a little different right because one of them maybe doesn't actually know how to write code. So what does that mean. Right. In pairing. The other thing we use it for is to review each others tests. So if you're going to ask developers to do a unit test you want them to learn how to write good unit test meaning think through not just happy path but you know the errors and boundary conditions exceptions and all those kinds of things they usually inherently don't know how to do that a tester can by working with them help them understand how to do that better. Second if you're asking your testers even if it's manual to create tasks for integration for system for you know kind of the combinations of things across use cases and your business flows they often don't they often won't load the design. Well enough particularly if they haven't been involved in those activities they should be but often aren't. Jeffery Payne: [00:06:34] Yeah and the developer can help them think through and understand how does this software all pieced together to meet the you know the flow that we're looking for in our application and how users use it so they can help each other from a testing perspective we found. Bob Payne: [00:06:47] And one of the other things that I think a lot of a lot of testers can help with as well is what are the business rules like oh yeah if you're doing an under UI test which quite often happens in the developers domain you know what are the what are those conditions you know the happy path is easy and that's usually where developers go because they know the happy path works but they don't necessarily test those boundary conditions as or that or the business rules right if I had a whole bunch of J rules or other stuff I wouldn't test that through the UI right. Jeffery Payne: [00:07:26] Yeah no doubt. Bob Payne: [00:07:28] Yeah. Jeffery Payne: [00:07:28] And to your point about a happy path. The other thing we've seen is not every developer's like this but you know a lot of developers consider what they're building to be a work of art. Right. They're like Michelangelo creating the Sistine Chapel in their in their mind. Yeah and they're all about creating this beautiful incredible thing that's going to last forever and just people are going to you and all over it even if it's just their peers. Bob Payne: [00:07:49] Yep. Jeffery Payne: [00:07:50] And then the tester shows up testers like a demolition crew. Bob Payne: [00:07:52] Yeah Jeffery Payne: [00:07:53] Right. They're trying to poke holes in it and figure out what's wrong with it and it's kind of like calling your baby ugly. If you're asked to test your own code because you know you might have every intention but in the back of your mind you might be thinking I don't really want my Sistine Chapel to have problems in it or look bad and changing that mindset is part of getting Dev and tests to work together to understand the best way if you want to build something great is to find any issues as fast as you can see eradicate them. That's really about what it looks like when it gets delivered yet not what it looks like. You know while you're making the sausage right. Bob Payne: [00:08:27] Yeah. I find a lot of people use the term Pairing and they're really talking about working together on just acceptance criteria or something like that that's necessary but not sufficient. I think that deeper level of the deeper you can go in interaction and an understanding the better off your team is clearly Jeffery Payne: [00:08:52] We've had good success getting developers involved in doing some exploratory testing as well. Bob Payne: [00:08:57] Sure. Bob Payne: [00:08:57] You know a lot of times testers get together and do you know session based exploratory testing across stories or whatever. What about the idea of just getting the Dev and test together for a story they're working on and having an exploratory testing session where they work together and explore the product and talk about it and identify bugs. Again that gets the developers a little bit more comfortable doing testing and knowing what to look for thinking critically about the app. And of course it helps the tester better understand the app because if they're they don't understand something about what they're testing they've got the developer right there they can ask Hey what was this supposed to do or how was this supposed to work. Jeffery Payne: [00:09:32] Now I think the story is maybe vague did we really build the right thing or are we testing it properly. That dialogue's very helpful. Bob Payne: [00:09:38] Yeah. What else is exciting in your your world right now Jeffery Payne: [00:09:42] Nothing Bob Payne: [00:09:42] No? Jeffery Payne: [00:09:42] Nothing. Well as you know we do a lot of DevOps work. Bob Payne: [00:09:47] Yeah sure. Yeah it's the new edge issue. Jeffery Payne: [00:09:51] Yeah exactly. Bob Payne: [00:09:52] Yeah. Actually you know we were going to be talking later with some folks talking about sort of you know in many ways Agile is sort of hit a ceiling and I'm hoping this will open up gaps where we can get to real real agility and real cause. All too often it's seen as a fix for the delivery team not right. Not a systemic change that can build better value faster. Jeffery Payne: [00:10:23] Yeah and I totally agree. I mean I think one of the mistakes that the founding fathers of Agile made is you know they were all about collaboration getting everybody to work together. But they forgot a key piece of the lifecycle which was delivery and release and production and production oriented. Bob Payne: [00:10:41] And actually intake in the business side. Jeffery Payne: [00:10:45] Exactly. You know it's funny this group that was all about collaboration and getting everybody on the same page left all these people out right by mistake. Obviously they were creating it as they went so I understand. So I always say that dev ops in one sense is really an extension of agile principles out to everybody on the ship you know involved in the software delivery process in the full lifecycle software. Bob Payne: [00:11:09] Yeah and agile and dev ops are both the you know great grandchildren of lean which was all about that base that whole process right. Jeffery Payne: [00:11:21] Yes. Bob Payne: [00:11:22] Yeah. You know this reintroduction of the concept of value streams and value team and stuff - It's like back to the future. Jeffery Payne: [00:11:32] I'm sure you've studied up on the history you know all the way back through Demming and you know all the way back to you know statistical process control and even beyond that I mean it's clearly standing on the shoulders of giants like everything we do. It's amazing how many people don't understand that or take the time to find that out or understand. Bob Payne: [00:11:50] And the idea that that actually Devops, Yeah there's a whole bunch of cool technical stuff going on, but it's about closing the loop to be able to learn. And my favorite Demming quote about that was learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival. Jeffery Payne: [00:12:07] Here's some great pithy comments. You know we're in this. You know there was an article I read that compared it to an extinct extinction level event you know where we've got you know Internet of Things and big data and and organizations being able competitors being able to go extraordinarily fast and learn and reintegrate that learning. The end for the many organizations that will that will mean their doom and not going to pretend that DevIps or Agile is any silver bullet in allowing them to survive. But I just know the status quo is not the strategy I would take. Jeffery Payne: [00:12:56] Yeah. Well yeah I mean if software is really eating the world which I think we would agree it is then you'd better figure out how to optimize how you build deploy deliver and feedback information fast because otherwise you are going to be out of business. Yeah eventually. Bob Payne: [00:13:15] So what's happening over at your company Coveros. Jeffery Payne: [00:13:18] Coveros, yes! So We're busy little busy little beavers helping people with Agile and devops just trying to get it right. And when we focus more on the engineering aspects of both of those things but I often get asked to you know help pull teams together and figure out how to make it all work. Bob Payne: [00:13:36] Yup Jeffery Payne: [00:13:36] But we really like the the engineering aspects as I call it you know Automation doesn't solve all your problems right. I always say a tool with a fool is still a fool. Right. So you have to know what you're doing and you have to collaborate work together. But automation can help and as long as you take that philosophy you can leverage test automation and then you see ICD Automation and other types of automation effectively. If your view is that automation somehow solves all your problems it's a magic bullet right. And it all you know takes culture or you know magically make it all work then you're going to be really upset right because it's not going to work so that's kind of what we're focusing on. Bob Payne: [00:14:16] Magical thinking is a strategy has also proved to be not the greatest.. Jeffery Payne: [00:14:21] Hope. Hope is not a strategy. One of my favorite sales books and I use that a lot. Yeah everybody says it's not grounded in reality I would say just remember hope is not a strategy. Bob Payne: [00:14:30] Yeah yeah yeah exactly. Well great. What what's exciting you coming up. What do you see coming down the pike in the next. You know what I know prediction is tough especially about the future. Jeffery Payne: [00:14:47] Yeah the future because if I could I wouldn't be in this business or I'd be retired long ago. Bob Payne: [00:14:52] Yeah exactly. Jeffery Payne: [00:14:53] Well I am I'm excited about. Bob Payne: [00:14:54] What do you actually see that's here. Jeffery Payne: [00:14:56] Well I was very skeptical at first but I am a little bit excited about what's going on with integration of A.I. into Dev and test. There are some interesting things going on around how you can leverage AI capabilities to build better tests for your applications. Do testing in a better way. So what actually look interesting. Are they going to scale or are they going to work right we've been talking about AI and you know robots take over the world forever which of course is not going to happen. Bob Payne: [00:15:30] The joke is AI is the next big thing and always will be. Jeffery Payne: [00:15:34] Yeah it's very true because you and I we probably are same same relevant age and we were coming up through the techie ranks. AI got really hot for a while. Bob Payne: [00:15:43] I was in the computer architectures for AI master's program so Jeffery Payne: [00:15:47] Yeah! It was hot hot hot, VR - the first VR systems came out and everyone was talking about these awesome things and how we were going to live in alternative worlds. And all that stuff and of course then like a lot of things that it didn't really happen and kind of disappeared but it bubbled along and now it's kind of popped its head up again. Bob Payne: [00:16:05] And so I'm not familiar with the uses that folks have been you know the application in the testing area what is the is this especially for like I mean if you look at big data you don't know what's in there necessarily. So you don't know know what to test for like where's the where's the current application of. Jeffery Payne: [00:16:33] Well there's a couple. One is of course everybody's trying to figure out how to even test AI-based systems whether it's B.I or or whatever it is you know how do we know the answers right. Right. That's the age old problem in the systems is you know how do you actually know whether what you got is true or not because you kind of need that testing right. But the other side of it which which we're more focused on is other ways to build better approaches to automation that analyze the product analyze what you're building and not completely write the scripts for you but take a step toward providing you test automation capabilities and scripting without having to do that on yourself. There are some new tools out on the market really small startup stuff that's trying to take a different look completely at how we create automated tests and how we maybe do that automatically. Yeah and the software is a really hard problem. Bob Payne: [00:17:37] Yeah I can I can I can extraordinarily easily imagine doing like really good deep progression by looking at sort of big data. Big data user behavior. You know we've kind of done that to heatmap. You know we really need this piece to be bulletproof because of risk. I'm sure there are folks out there that are mapping the the usage. But I could also imagine very easily just observe what folks are doing and and learn from that. I mean it's the way to go. [00:18:20] You know Al p haGo learned how to play go and meet you know with you know the vast majority of the learning in a system like that is not from the ruleset right. The initial ruleset it's actually playing another copy of itself Veriga and and and going through the database of previous games which for go is actually harder than chess but apparently it never played go. But yeah it sounds easy it's go go. How hard could it be. Jeffery Payne: [00:18:53] Just go right. Just go. So what. What's up with that. Just sounds a lot harder. four letters. Just kidding but Bob Payne: [00:19:04] It is four letters is twice as many. Jeffery Payne: [00:19:08] That's fine. We're just having a great time here right. Bob Payne: [00:19:15] Yeah. Jeffery Payne: [00:19:16] So yeah that's what what I'm interested in that is just you know trying to take the dev ops concept to the next level. You mentioned round trip. Right. Which is you know a lot of people spent their early instantiations of automation just focusing on how do I get code you know from a change in their production as fast as possible with quality and stability as well. You have to balance those. But now I think the more sophisticated companies are saying OK well it's great to get there but what happens if you get there and something's wrong. What's the fastest roundtrip approach to fixing that and addressing that. Is it rolling back. Is it going roundtrip and coming through. You know because the the other thing that's and people say why is that important if we're not the kind of company like you know say and Amazon who's pushing code out every 11 seconds right. Jeffery Payne: [00:20:05] Why do you need that we need that for security and stability and performance service level agreements. I mean if you've got a problem in production it cost you money every minute every second it's down or that there is a risk out there with a security perspective you've got to figure out how to round trip change as fast as possible. And that's an exciting area I think has been under looked at. You know it hasn't really been the focal point of house is now I think starting to be. I mean this it is really ironic that the safest way to go is to be able to go fast. Bob Payne: [00:20:41] I mean Jeffery Payne: [00:20:41] Oh yeah. Bob Payne: [00:20:43] I mean the level you know I remember those days where company would have to fail over to their dark side and emphasis on fail right because it would be days hours just downtime before they could you know oh shoot the Oracle logs didn't replicate. Yeah. Or whatever. And in like extreme programming and some of the techniques there early on they were seen as risky and the real practice in the same way that drove up seems risky. If you're doing it the way you and I think they should be doing it. It's actually the least risky way of behaving Jeffery Payne: [00:21:37] Right. Yeah it is. Yeah of course there are some apps that you'd like to be able to push into production quickly but maybe can't ever fail. So you know you can't you know this you know the Amazon concept of roll something out there doesn't really work. Jeffery Payne: [00:21:53] Roll it back and tune it roll back out and you're kind of using your customer to test test and give you some time to live life critical for that. So there are certain ones that you need. You know just double down on your assurance process during your dev ops capability because it can't fail on the field.. For a lot of others you know. Bob Payne: [00:22:10] Well one of them one of the things that I've been thinking about because I quite often talked about high quality and the key is and someone came up to me and said what you're really looking for is expected quality. So and he had an example that was was a big oil and gas company and one of the things that they said is your labels are too good. He's like What do you mean said we need the labels to start to deteriorate immediately said we do not want to see someone pouring a lubricant into a cooking pan in Africa or in some other area where this is unfortunately a common practice with a brand spanking new company logo on the outside of that thing said is we actually need that to deteriorate. And I start to think about that because as you mentioned you know some fine you know I may not have critical transactions push something around or find a roll it back. You know that might be fine. You know canary roll out on Spotify right fine right. Jeffery Payne: [00:23:39] Yep. Bob Payne: [00:23:40] Canary Roll out on the firmware and in a medical device maybe not so fun. Jeffery Payne: [00:23:46] Yeah Bob Payne: [00:23:46] Because the Canary dies Jeffery Payne: [00:23:48] And it's a big Canary. Bob Payne: [00:23:48] . Oh yeah yeah Jeffery Payne: [00:23:55] Yeah. No. No doubt Bob Payne: [00:23:56] Yeah. Jeffery Payne: [00:23:56] And that and that is something that I think people misunderstand about dev ops. [00:24:00] You know when I speak about DevOps at conferences I always well attended everybody's interested in the topic because it's hot Bob Payne: [00:24:06] Right. Jeffery Payne: [00:24:07] People have this perception and unfortunately senior management does that Dev ops means speed and speed alone. The goal no fast can I push things into production. Bob Payne: [00:24:17] But imagine a life critical system where you could have test automation every single infrastructure. Code line Change is auditable in and you can get that level of safety. We used to put two you know extraordinary manual testing. Jeffery Payne: [00:24:44] Yes it was very expensive. Bob Payne: [00:24:45] And it's prone to possibility of non repeatable results. Somebody makes a mistake. Somebody configurations off. And now with you know with tools that where you have immutable infrastructure you have software configured network you can actually know to some a greater degree of certainty than we were able to in the past that you have a Conformance Test system. And that adds a lot of safety. Jeffery Payne: [00:25:24] It does and it helps with regulatory is yes right. I mean the one of the under the under represented aspects of dev ops is CM Bob Payne: [00:25:34] Right. Jeffery Payne: [00:25:34] Because if you're doing it right everything you're dragging your entire manifest of your software your test your environments your even your rollback your recovery procedures your monitoring capability. Dragging that all the way through production in a way that you know where everything came from and everything takes and ties together. And that's what regulators want. Right. Bob Payne: [00:26:00] Those that know they actually want safety they don't care about the stack of documents they use sadly to hopefully inspect that you knew what you're doing. Jeffery Payne: [00:26:08] Want you to demonstrate that you have a process that delivers quality and they want to see that there's relationships between the various things that you're using to do that. And dev ops gives you all that if you do it right. Bob Payne: [00:26:20] Yeah. Jeffery Payne: [00:26:21] If you do it wrong it just you know throws your code down through there and everything around it is changing constantly and you're never really going to get the speed or quality that you want. Bob Payne: [00:26:30] Yep well great so anything you'd like to close out with Jeff for Jeffery Payne: [00:26:36] Well just thanks for the chance to talk. I know you've been doing this a long time and it seems like a great podcast and we're really enjoying the conference. Looking forward to the rest of it. Bob Payne: [00:26:49] And if you can stand to hear me talk then they listen to some of the older ones I think Bob Payne: [00:26:55] Definitely. Jeffery Payne: [00:26:56] Ok cool Bob Payne: [00:26:56] I'll get some popcorn and listen to early one's .. I wish you had started it maybe five years earlier than that right. I mean. Bob Payne: [00:27:03] Yeah yeah Jeffery Payne: [00:27:03] If you had started like right around 2000. Bob Payne: [00:27:05] Yeah Jeffery Payne: [00:27:05] Then Bob Payne: [00:27:06] Yeah. Jeffery Payne: [00:27:07] You know you would have had some interesting.. Bob Payne: [00:27:08] There's a there was some gap years as well. Jeffery Payne: [00:27:12] But Well thank thank you very much for having me. Bob Payne: [00:27:14] Thanks.
I sat down with Manjit Singh and Antonio Medina to talk about details of their new book The Lean Playbook. See more below and subscribe now. Fresh off the release of their The Lean Playbook book. Most books were very theoretical and didn't show how to practically implement these techniques and tools, so what we did was collect a set of experiences from many teams in which we achieved some specific business outcomes. It's actionable. You can jump to a tool or challenge you're trying to address and that's what makes it a good reference book. We aren't just focusing on IT - also Lean for Services (Pharma, government, finance, sales, and more). When people think about Lean, they think about IT and manufacturing, but the techniques can be applied in every industry. Even though people want to apply Lean, the ask isn't always clearly defined. In the book, we look at it holistically and look at the delivery of value and how it flows through the systems. There are a lot of opportunities to reduce waste: Empower people to make more decisions. Create a cross functional team to shift quality earlier in the process Eliminate handoff between teams. We've also given two different ways to go through the book: Depending on where you are, you can pick your path through the book Jump directly to what you're trying to accomplish You can find out more details and grab a copy of The Lean Playbook at theleanplaybook.net Need help implementing these tips into your own organizations? Give us a shout at lithespeed.com or reach out at email@example.com
I spoke with Business Agility Conference organizer Evan Leybourn on some of the inner workings and the future of the conference. The people are the best part of the conference. 40% of attendees were from over seas and 95% of all attendees flew in just for this event - which is incredible! Truly a global audience. We really approached our topics differently this year. It was designed specifically to have "ah-ha!" moments constantly where everyone tells us a story. We weren't looking for theory, we wanted them to tell us their "why," - to leave us inspired. In the coming years, we really don't want to grow too big - 350-400 might be the max. Primarily because the intimacy of the conversations is important, but we want to go broader. We want small, focused events all of the world to give people opportunities and the chance to join the conversation. 4 Pillars in the Business Agility Institute: Community Outreach Guidance Leadership And LitheSpeed, as one of our first Institute Partners, has been doing and will continue to live out and uphold these pillars. This is my "try to take over the world" moment. What we're doing will influence and touch every business in the world in the coming years. The next conferences will take place in Fall 2018 in Australia. Learn more at businessagilityconf.com Need help implementing these tips into your own organizations? Give us a shout at lithespeed.com or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
I sat down with Ellen Grove and Sue John to talk all things facilitation. See more below and subscribe now. Facilitation essentially is holding people safely in a space to express themselves is critical. It isn't just about the fun thing - it isn't just about playing with Lego's. It's about the debrief and helping the participants reflect and think about "what did we just learn here." And that helps them to get better at reflecting. It let's them ask "how are we going to do this thing," and "how are we going to be better at doing that thing." Lego Serious Play, and other similar techniques, allows everyone to get their ideas on the table and that's how you get people talking, collaborating, and making decisions as a team. It's easier to talk about this Lego on the table than that department is run poorly or I don't work well with that person. Facilitation for Decision Making Exercise: Set up a meeting for the entire morning - We'll be exploring until maybe lunchtime THEN we see the impact Make a decision in a separate meeting. This exercise is for "thinking" about it and the next meeting is for "doing" it. Questions to think about during the exercise: Are we getting the right discussions? Have we analyzed the impact? Are we making the right decisions? A facilitator's job is to hold you back for a little while. Learn to say just enough, hand the control to the team, and be silent until someone else to initiate the conversation. Need help implementing these tips into your own organizations? Give us a shout at lithespeed.com or reach out at email@example.com
People make agile seem pretty complicated when they first hear about it. There are clear successes when you implement agile if you are able to incorporate a few things. If you don't understand the underlying philosophies of scrum, you may have a harder time being successful. Listen with Bob and George Dinwiddie as they give advice and tips on how to organize your work, do it, and work as a team.
SAFe 4.5 was recently released, so I decided to ask the creator, himself, what's new. Listen to us talk new configurations, better integration of DevOps, and validation with SAFe creator Dean Leffingwell.
Josh and I chat about his key note talk regarding Modern Agile. Possibly the most influential sticker driven development project ever. Always a pleasure chatting wth Josh and I have changed my practice to be a bit more modern. What will you do? Follow him at @JoshuaKerievsky Enjoy Bob Payne
I discuss the Laloux Culture Model with Peter Green (@tptman) at the Scrum Gathering 2016 in Orlando. He has a great explanatory video for Teal and how Agile Fits in. See the video herehttps://vimeo.com/121517508 Enjoy Bob Payne
I speak with Natalie Warnert (@nataliewarnert) at the 2016 Scrum Gathering about her session and her upcoming Women in Agile session at Agile 2016. Natalie is a regular participant on the conference circuit and a member of the Minneapolis Agile community. Enjoy
Tim Ottinger talks about his work within Industrial Logic to make the transition to Agile safe for organizations and the people delivering the transformation. We spoke at the Agile Coaches Camp in 2014.
Enjoy the talk
I chat with Brett Palmer (@brett_palmer), Jon Jorgensen (@waterscrumban) from the Agile Coffee Podcast. I met Brett and Jon at the coaches camp in 2014 and when they mentioned that they would like to chat on the AgileToolkit podcast. Little did I know that they also had their own podcast and that I had listened to a few episodes myself.
Agile Coffee Episodes.
We chat about the coaches camp, podcasts and a bit about SAFe.
Ellen, Andrew and I talk about Lego Serious Play at the Agile Games Day 2014. I first encountered the serious play series at this Games Day. It is an amazing system and I hope to use it in my Agile coaching and consulting soon. I think you will enjoy this interview as much as I did.
Here are some links to Serious Play:
In the first of my video series I chat with Esther Derby. We talk about Organizational Models and analyzing team dynamics vs individual coaching. Among other ideas we discuss the following change models.
BJ Fogg Model:
If you are interested in the video of this interview please go to the LitheSpeed Youtube channel here:
I speak with Bob about his CleanCoders.com video series. If you code or or know someone that does these videos can be a valuable resource for continued evolution.
As always entertaining ... at least to me.
I speak with Jonathan Chashper about the challenges of bridging the gap between Business and Technology in the product managment consulting areana. These challenges exist in large and small companies.
We speak about the path from building things right to building the right things and the upsurge of Lean Startup, Innovation Thinking and the value of feedback.
I speak with Mary and Ellen about their book Discover to Deliver. Creating a Structured Conversation about the discovery process. If you want to build the right thing you need to get people together and explore the space, find the value and find a way to confirm.
They evaluate the dimensions of features along the following dimensions:
I love the fact that they went for a visual management, lean startup and agile delivery to pull this book together.
Take a look here http://www.discovertodeliver.com/voices.php
Karl and I chat about Kanban and Visual Management. For those listeners who are familiar with my podcast you will know that Visual Management on physical boards is a topic that I am personally interested in and love helping my clients with.
Karl thinks about kanban boards with the following acronym T.I.P.
Token - The representational piece that moves through the process, different types may be used
Inscription - Graphics and words on the card representing what needs to be done
Placement - Where it is within the process and the space of the board
Enjoy the podcast.
In this episode I speak with Kent McDonald regarding his work in Agile business analysis, our lab at the conference, his books and his work as the chair of Agile 2013. I have worked with Kent for several years and find his talent, humor and pragmatism a wonderful addition to any project.
Enjoy our talk and say hello to him at Agile 2013.
An insightful keynote on adaptive leadership by Jim Highsmith: co-author of the Agile Manifesto, founding member of the Agile Alliance, prolific author, and industry thought leader.
We were extrordinarily happy to have Jim Highsmith this year as our Keynote speaker.
The three goals of Adaptive Leadershi:
Why Agile - Envision a Responsive Organization
Do Agile - Learn how to deliver a continuous stream of value
Be Agile - What behaviours do we need to exibit to be an Agile leader
Jeff Morgan and I talk about his work with Cucumber and his creation of many gems. He is a great guy to chat with and I need to make it to Cleavland to work on the boat with him. He and I run into each other at conferences and occasionaly on client sites.
Hope you enjoy.
I speak with Tom and Dustin regarding the work they have done to roll out agile within Nationwide. I worked with them both in the past and it is extrordinarily gratifying to see the seeds of your labor grown into such a giant tree. They have created the right ballance of structure that allows them to bring up teams and agility to allow those teams to innovate.
I hope you enjoy.
I speak with Diana Larsen and James Shore at the Agile 2012 conference about their recently released Agile Fluency model. This model looks at team and organizational Agile adoption and provides a framework for looking at where you are and where you want to be.
The article is here:
Comments and input can be given at:
As usual I loved talking with both of them again and hope you will enjoy listening to their conversation with me.
I always enjoy talking with Arlo about his open data work and the strange coincidence that he and Ward Cunningham are both working on this problem. He chats about his work with big data, his penchant for starting with XP as the initial set of agile practices for teams to allow tight feedback and real agility.
This interview has been on disk for a while but I hope you enjoy. As you can tell he is an angry, angry, bitter man.
Bob and I talk about his book and video casts of his work getting the code in clean and right. Expanding his discussion of craftsmanship and the habits of coders that code clean. He also discusses the 10 years of the manifesto and the growth of Agile.
He has become the steadfast protecter of purity of essence for a coding nation (please refer to Dr Strangelove if the preceding sentence confuses you).
I chat with Ward about the 10th anniversary of the Agile Manifesto and his newest wiki project. The best conversation happened directly after the podcast as we discussed what an audio wiki might look like. Sorry the bits were not rolling on the digital recorder.
Hope you enjoy this.
George and I discuss one of the most beneficial and underutilized Agile technique, Test Driven Development. What can I say the data is in and you need to be doing this if you want to call yourself an Agile Engineer.
Ken and I talk about his ATDD book. This is a topic that has been gaining a lot of traction in agile teams. Acceptance Test Driven Development is a technique that some teams are using to improve quality and collaboration between business, testing and development.
Come join us at AgileDC on October 26th 2011. This not for profit regional conference aims to have a wide varieity of talks, networking, open space and is one of the few conferences to have a Government track alongside an Agile Engineering track.
We are excited and hope to see you there.
Get 15% off for being a podcast regular with this discount code:
More information at AgileDC.org
Ken and I chat about the Product Owner roll and the complexity that can emerge when we ask too much of the product owner. This has always been a key role and we have sometimes dode the project a disservice by focusing the PO on the needs of development. This can sometimes create a situation where the PO is focused too much on User Stories and not enough on the product context and value.
It has been quite a wihle since I have chatted with Ken and I look forward to chatting with him again.
In addition to the other large conferences that Ken will be speaking at he will also be a keynote at the AgileDC conference.
Kelly Allen is one of the foremost experts on Edward Deming. I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with him. We wander from measurement, punishment by rewards, human factors in organizations and organizational development to education. Kelly is an engaging speaker and conversationalist.
I hope you enjoy this podcast as much as I did.
George and I discuss the finer points of appropriatly sizing User Stories to ensure that they can be delivered. This is a fairly tricky process and is best figgured out by experimentation and ensuring that you have good examples.
This has been sitting in the vault for a while. The recording was not that great so please excuse the audio quality. The content is great as I am speaking to Elisabeth Hendrickson.
Elizabeth has been a force in the agile community for 10 years now and she was recognized for that last year at Agile 2010 with the Gordon Pask award.
I finally caught up with her at ADP East 2010. We talk about testing/test automation and acceptance test driven development.
Hope you enjoy it.
Another conversation with Michael and Lyssa. This time we speak about their new enterprise the Agile Coaching Institute. They have been bringing the skills of professional coaching to the agile space for a while now and they decided to mak a practice out of it. I am excited about the tools and techniques they are bringing to the table. They are always engaging and informitive to talk to.
We were rudely cut off in our first attempt at an interview by a power cut in the Expo at the conference but I think the 2nd take worked out well. Hope you like it as well.
I speak with Drew about thier next generation of Sticky Minds. Techwell.com launced recently and it is the successor to Sticky Minds. We also discuss the Agile Development Practices West conference held in Las Vegas.
I am pleased to say that the Agile Toolkit Podcast is syndicated on techwell.
Please enjoy Techwell and this podcast.
George and I talk about the importance of driving concrete examples to ensure high quality stories through the Three Amigos Process. This process goes hand in hand with Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD)
Teams using ATDD are showing improvements in defect rates and reducing missed "requirements" in the user stories.
Conversation is powerful
Examples are Powerful
Automated Tests are Powerful
Feel the Power.
I speak with Michael about the M word. Yes Metrics and Agile teams have seemed to be at odds for a long time. If you look at a large enough population of teams using many differing methods you can however glean information that is useful. It turns out that on average Agile teams deliver on our goal of delivering higher quality software, predictably and without increasing costs. There is a lot the data does not say about individual teams but this information is gold when approached by one of the remaining skeptics.
I hope you enjoy this podcast.
Johanna and I chat about the enterprise. Again. We talk about getting products out the door across teams to deliver value for your program. I am looking forward to chatting again with her this year.
This area of project and portfolio management is an area that has been the source of many questions in enterprise adoption. It is an area that begs for "situationally specific" implementations.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Lyssa and I chat about her book Coaching Agile Teams, her work as a coaches coach and her passion for making the world better one coach at a time. Lyssa and Michael Spayd have worked together and we discuss the Coaching Circles that they facillitate.
I still want audio versions of these books so you too should email the publishers and let them know that people on the go want an audio version.
Michael and I chat about his work coaching coaces, facillitaton and coaching teams. Michael has been on the podcast a number of times and I always find my conversations with him compelling.
Michael talks about his work with teams and some of the techniques he uses to create the appropriate environment for those teams to learn and step out on their own.
Sanjiv and I both have enjoyed the work of Daniel Pink. His book Drive is a great read for agile coaches and practitioners alike. Creating a Performance Management plan for knowledge workers can be a challenge in traditional organizations. Hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I always enjoy working and talking with Sanjiv.
Ian and I discuss the internal development practices at Version One and some of the new features in V1. The folks at V1 have always been involved in community and it was a pleasure to talk with Ian and participate in the Agile Palooza.
I talk with Dave Thomas about his keynote at Agile 2010. During his keynote he put up a slide telling people that they would be refactored if if they tweeted or otherwise used the information about to be given. Sarcasm is no longer appreciated in the land of the brave. Maybe he gets a pass for being Canadian. As always I love talking to one of the many "Dave Thomas" characters.
Come and join me at the Agile DC conference on October 22. We have 3 tracks to choose from and lots of great speakers.Agile EssentialsAgile in the Government and EnterpriseOpen Talks TrackUse the discount code "agileToolkit" to get $20 off.Information here http://agiledc.org
Richard and I speak about the utilization of agile in the government. Say it can't be done. It is being done and in the most unlikely places. Richard will be running the Agile Government Panel at the October 22, AgileDC conference. If you are interested in this topic this talk and the conference visit us at http://AgileDC.org to register.
Jean and I discuss Lynchpin the recent book by Seth Godin. We both enjoyed this book and found it to be a good guide for any agile change agent. I especially like his ideas around Gift Culture. Not revolutionary but a good book.
Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Ryan talks about the acquisition of Agile Zen as an addition to the Rally family of agile tools. I have not really spent much time with Ryan before this interview and I was excited to talk with him about his passion for giving.
- bob payne
I chatted with Payson Hall for the first time at ADP West. We talked about the broken model of Fixed Price contracts and the challenges of working in the public sector with agile methods.Hope you enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed recording it.-bob payne
Dale and I chat in sunny Vegas. We spoke about his presentations, training and our lives as consultants. If you have not met Dale you should get yourself out to sunny California and attend his training in July.I hope you enjoy this podcast as much as I enjoyed recording it.-bob
George and I discuss the reasons that we declare the index card the most valuable project management tool ever. I know this is probably old news but we are constantly asked "Why Index Cards". If you have never experienced a true project card wall it is time to "Kick it Old School".Enjoy-bob payne
George and I discuss the "Three Basic Things" that you need to understand to implement agile. The "Three" theme never gets old.
Much is said about agile but I think George says it best.
"Simple but not easy"
Johanna and I discuss her new book Manage Your Project Portfolio.
As usual I really enjoyed my conversation with Johanna. We discuss the use of flow management in the realm of agile projects. Flowing the work through stable agile teams is a technique that has been used successfully for years. The biggest challenge to this process is yearly funding by project rather than a more incremental funding model.
Buy the book here.
Manage Your Project Portfolio
- bob payne
Olav gives his first podcast interview ever. He discusses 'Real Options' as a model for thinking about prioritization and commitment. Real options is an interesting model for limiting WIP and managing a portfolio of work through a development team.
Bob Martin and I chat about the software craftsmanship movement. I missed this conference but know many of the people involved in it. I suspect it was great.
As always I enjoyed my conversation with Bob and hope you do as well.
I met Aslak at the Agile 2009 conference for the first time. In fact this is to date my one and only conversation with him. I have used the Cucumber framework at a number of clients to facilitate automated regression testing at the story level. His work builds on the work of several of my previous interviewees.
I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed our conversation.
I have had the pleasure of working with Tom for over a year now. This podcast was recorded some time ago. Tom represents the best of what I hope to achieve when working with organizations. Reaching someone and changing their outlook on how they do their work and how they see themselves as a valuable asset within an organization. He grabbed on to the bits that we gave and created his own vision of what he wanted to learn and teach his co-workers.I think of him when I need to keep going in the never ending grind of a large agile roll out. I gave him a spark and he has given me a Life Line. Enjoy-bob payne
I have worked with Jim on and off over the past year and he is one one of those people you do not forget working with. Enough said about that.Early on he had a lot of questions related to ROI Calculations and Business Alignment. Over time he brought me closer to his view of Business Alignment and I convinced him that ROI Calculations were at best lies codified by rigorous technique. It is always a pleasure when you learn from someone you are coaching.I think he is Agile for life...Time will tell.-bob payne
We talk about the importance of continuous integration as a practice for teams. Continuous integration is a tool and it is a way of doing things within a team. It is the lever to shoehorn many other practices into a team. -bob
This is a must attend event for folks using or contemplating using Agile Methods.
The conference will be in beautiful Chicago August 24-28. If you have not yet signed up there is still time. Visit the site for more information.
Remember to join me in the LiveAid stage this year.
Kevin and I talk about the challenges of managing product development in large organizations. We talk about the challenges of aligning teams and organizations in an agile services organization.Kevin also discusses the value of UE integration in the Agile Process.Kevin will be presenting at Agile2009 so make sure you look him up.-bob payne
I worked with Mike for nearly a year at Nationwide and he is one of
those folks that is hard to forget. Passionate about the work and
hungry to learn. He was one of the driving forces behind the most
experimental team I have had the pleasure to coach.
I worked with Jill recently at Nationwide Insurance. She is an excelent scrum master and did a great job of ballencing the many competing forces in an agile team.
I hope you enjoy this podcast.
I speak with Tom and Charlie about the transition to agility for the Corporate Internet Services group at Nationwide. George Dinwiddie, Sanjiv Augustine and I worked with them for most of 2008 to structure and implement an Agile Transition in the CIS Department. That transition was featured in a PM Network article and was part of a larger groundswell of agile activity at Nationwide.
I very much enjoyed working wit them and I hope you will enjoy the podcast.
Nancy speaks to Jack about the Deep Agile conference and his work in the embedded world. Jack will be speaking at Deep Agile. If you are interested in Agile in the world of embedded systems this conference is an opportunity to explore or improve your use of agile methods in that space.
Enjoy this podcast.